Last year was unusual in that I travelled to more places and spent more time on planes than any previous year. I had been thinking, contemplating the first leg of the most recent trip, that maybe this year I’d stick to the UK. The rugged mountains and lochs of Scotland, Skye maybe. Maybe the coast down south. Wales. But alongside those dreams, I’m imaging the spring cherry blossoms in Japan, the coasts and hot springs of Hokkaido, northern Japan. Mediterranean turquoise seas and Italian warmth.
I love all the places I have travelled, for different reasons. I love the wilderness of Canada, trekking up forested mountains, wary for bears and dipping sore feet into ice cold glacial lakes. I love the mountain temples in Japan, the alien culture and manners, and warmth and kindness of the Japanese. I love the Swedish architecture and interior design, the beautiful islands and cold seas. I love standing on a Skye mountainside and feeling like I was hearing silence—perfect, calming silence—for the first time in my life. I love the scent of a seabreeze, the scent of an icy mountain one, and the scent of early morning dewy grass. I think that sense of adventure will always be there inside me; the jetlag, the travel anxiety and the expense are all worth it to me. Travel and books, the two things I feel the least guilt about spending money on. Adventure, it is in my soul.
For me, I think I love fantasy fiction for the same reasons I love travel – the adventure of it, exploring a new place, going along for the ride. I get to see, feel and experience amazing things (amazing in the sense that they are out of my ordinary life experience). And right now, I’m loving the Truthwitch (Susan Dennard) ride.